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A compressed sensing algorithm based on improved layered discrete cosine transform (DCT) was proposed, which only measured the high-pass coefficients of the other layers but preserving the top layer coefficients. For the reconstruction, high-pass coefficients could be recovered by the measurements. Then the image could be reconstructed by the inverse DCT transform. Simulation results demonstrated that the proposed algorithm improved the quality of the recovered image significantly. For the same compression ratio, the peak signal to noise ratio of the proposed algorithm is improved about 2~4 dB.